HOW NIÑEZ CAME INTO TROUBLE
John Marzan tries to make sense of Niñez Cacho-Olivarez’s libel suits by sequencing the events and probable circumstances that led to it: How It Happened. Apparently, the Tribune was scooping the rest of major publications by then with its series of articles itself written by Olivarez and all the while, someone’s reputation and feelings were being hurt. As it is, when Fraport finally filed an arbitration request, the allegations in the series were confirmed. The major papers followed suit. But no other libel suits were filed similar to Ninez’s.
How’s this for libel? As far as my logic tells me, if Olivarez were guilty, so should the rest be. So why no libel cases were filed against the rest? Because NCO’s came ahead of “confirmation” and the rest, after?
Anyway, here’s abogadomo.com on Libel Laws of the Philippines:
Under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to discredit or cause the dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Thus, the elements of libel are: (a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of malice.
Point of contention is existence of malice:
It is important to remember that any of the imputations covered by Article 353 is defamatory and, under the general rule laid down in Article 354, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true; if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. There is malice when the author of the imputation is prompted by personal ill-will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person who claims to have been defamed. Truth then is not a defense, unless it is shown that the matter charged as libelous was made with good motives and for justifiable ends. (underscoring mine)
So there, truth is no defense. I find this odd but so be it.
But the future of a nation’s gateway, its main airport— that is not a justifiable end? Saving our premier airport from the claws of undue personal interest would not pass for good motives?
Ahh, it must be shown! I see. So it must be Ninez’s perpetual insolent smirk that made her lose: Who is she to think she has in her any streak of patriotism or sense of duty with that look that could only mean malice! If anything, all else are incidental.
I have been saying, so-called principles only follow intentions: tell me what, then I’ll choose which principles are useful and which to ignore or downplay.
John says: “Libel, my ass!”
Haha, have more respect for your ass, John. That thing closes out of pique, you’re in big trouble.